The most commonly used search text box is waaaaay down the sidebar and often requires user to scroll down to the search box. In the sidebar, for Navigation and Jump Pages, there is little need for another (2nd) indentation. Removing the 2nd indentation will compress the list in such a manner that the search bar will be visible. —Egberts, 05:32, January 23, 2008 (EST)
- Agreed; particularly for users whose display resolution is 800x600, or less. But, can anybody tell me how I can put the Searchbar higher? (I am still looking.) That way, I can add the jump pages back to the Sidebar, but lower down the pane. —RWSmith (Bureaucrat), 01:21, January 25, 2008 (EST)
Customized Sidebar (navigation pane on the left)
- Moved from Talk:Main Page...
EXCELLENT decision to put a direct link to the merit badges on the front page under Boy Scouts. Saves us time almost every time we use the site! EagleForumFan 18:42, December 16, 2007 (EST)
Where did it go? Can we please get the direct link back on the front page? Saves a lot of clicks. EagleForumFan 01:21, January 25, 2008 (EST)
- Well, somebody else asked that the Sidebar (added left pane links) be removed because it put the search box too far down the page. So, I did, even though I liked it. (The two screens I use when editing are on the high-end of resolution; so, I still saw the search box. Now, what I'm going to try to do is find a happy medium... i.e., set my res. down to 800x600 and work on it. Anybody who's interested, let's take this conversation over to MediaWiki talk:Sidebar. —RWSmith (Bureaucrat), 00:38, January 31, 2008 (EST)
I think that the Sidebar is wasting valuable real estate. I think that we should remove:
- Community Portal - outdated? of what usefulness?
- Current events - also very old, plus the link is at the top of the main page
- Random page - fun, but does anyone need this?
- Donations - can be combined with about
I would really like to see some discussion on this weeks-old topic. Scouterdennis 14:39, November 29, 2008 (EST)
- Okay, okay! After much discussion, a good deal of thinking, and a lot more waiting... here's what I've come up with:
- Donations has been removed -- Why? Well, Mike is (still) paying for everything and nobody (still) has yet to come up with a foolproof way to make donations without having to go through incorporating, not to mention the never-ending cycle of gobs and gobs of paperwork, filings and mailings. If somebody knows how Mike can do this without incurring any PAIN, please speak up. Plus, we can promote (place links) supporting Mike's Merit Badge Phamplet collection in other, appropriate locations.
- Random page is about as useless as it is random -- I think everybody is in agreement on this one. Enough said.
- Current Events has also been deleted -- Actually, I wanted to keep this one. And, quite frankly, it didn't come to me 'til the last three or four seconds (No, really!) while I was editing Navi that this one could come out, too! For one thing, we can still promote it on the Main Page, in the usual upper-right header; and for another, we can (should) push it for what it's best made for... an RSS feed!
- Community Portal stays -- It should be wikied up to work much like Wikipedia's does, which, from what I can see, has already been done, quite nicely, too. I will say though, some of what's on our Main Page might (possibly?) be better over on the Community Portal. But, for sure, the CP is the Editor's Page. This is where we (Admins) entice, encourage, guide Users to become Editors and they to be good (consistent) at it. Even on their home page, the CP.
- Comments? Ideas?? —RWSmith (Bureaucrat), 04:25, November 30, 2008 (EST)
We can add a language translate feature to the sidebar!
Every page of MeritBadge.Org needs to be available in at least the top 12 languages in the US. Of course, Spanish heads the list. At the last census, 70 counties were already primarily Spanish speaking including Miami-Dade. New Mexico will be the first state to switch to Spanish as it's most common language followed by California, Texas, and Arizona.
To begin to meet this need, in 2002, the BSA set up a mirror site for www.scouting.org in Spanish: http://www.scoutingvalelapena.org/. Unfortunately as of 2008, this site has only 12 pages. In addition, 25 fliers and handbooks are now in Spanish. Few have been added since 2006.
Every page, every requirement, every resource, needs to be made available in Spanish, not just a few. The Hispanic culture is all about God and family as are we. What a great fit if only our materials could be in Spanish.
MeritBadge.Org can fix much of this problem 'Right Now!
For about 30 second earlier today, I add translations features to the sidebar. Just long enough to test it and take the screen-shots. With a mouse click, all of the pages at MeritBadge.Org could be instantly translated into Spanish! Sudddenly the Sidebar page is "la barra Lateral."
Right Now MeritBadge.Org could go from offering 600 great pages in English to offering 600 great pages in the 12 most common second languages in the US!
This is just using the Google Language Tools to translate our pages. It took a couple of tricks to get it to work but there is no cost.
One possible downsides I see is that no language translation software is as yet foolproof in translating idioms like "Right ON!". The Chevy "Nova" did not sell well in South America as a "Nova" because it means "No Go." So there will be errors that may even be funny but at least the meanings should be understandable. Also, this does extend the length of the sidebar but in checking, almost all of our pages that are not stubs are already longer than this. FInally, when you click a language in en.wikipedia.com, it staays in that language. This solution means that you will have to click your langauge again for each page you want to translate.
So can we try adding sidebar links to the top 12 languages?
MeritBadge.Org will be the only Scouting website fully open to Hispanic, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and so many other Scouts!
For about 30 seconds today, MeritBadge.Org opened it's doors to thousands more Scouts, their leaders and families. To flip it back on, just undo my last change on the MediaWiki:Sidebar.